Clicking is sometimes a drag, especially when you are on fire. You don’t want to break your momentum by taking your hands off of the keyboard to invoke some action on the screen. You need hotkeys.
I’ve watched releases of the modeler carefully, and now and then a new hotkey sneaks in without huge fanfare. Here are some that my fingers find most handy.
F5, Run Baby Run
I develop on a Mac, and leverage many of its tools, and the command-line is one of them. Sure not all Business Engineers will be power users, but sometimes you’ll find some Business Engineers need a little more umf now and then. For instance, when designing themes for Mendix, I need to make minor adjustments to my theme and apply it real quick back into the zipfile. After making these changes I cmd-tab to my terminal, hit the “up” key to get my last zip bash command, then cmd-tab back to my Mendix modeler, and hit F5. This gets repeated frequently if my design changes with many little iterations. Better yet, let me just show you 1 iteration. Notice the mouse cursor stays in one place.
What goes up, must come down. Use Shift-F5 if you need to stop your server. You’ll probably use this infrequently.
F2, Garden-Variety Rename for Windows
This is a bit redundant, since you can start typing away at captions in your microflows or widgets on your forms. The only time this will be useful, is if your properties pallet has focus on another field than the Caption field.
Ctrl-Left & Ctrl-Right, Moving stuff
This one I absolutely love. Entities with lots of attributes generate grids on forms that contain a horde of columns and search fields. If only there was a way to sort them quickly. Talk is cheap. Lets see it in action.
F11, Maximize and Restore
And as you’ve seen in the previous video, F11 is a must if you work on a screen with little real estate. Use this key to maximize your workspace.
Ctrl-G, Goto Artifact
This one is handy if you know what artifact you want to navigate to within your model, without hunting for it in the Project Explorer.
Another handy trick, is using the Mouse’s middle button on the microflow canvas. Its helps you pan your view, and using the mouse wheel, helps you zoom in and out if you don’t use a Magic Trackpad™.
Productivity is like Formula1 racing. Every little improvement helps, even if it contributes a 1 or 2%. Once you try hotkeys, you will find your ergonomics improve, your fingers do the work and helps you move with incredible ease through your modeling routine letting you focus even more.
I’m burning to see more hotkeys in future versions of Mendix.